A few updates on some of the happenings in the Central District.
We have seen a few stolen autos cases in the last couple of weeks. In three of those cases, delivery drivers hopped out of their cars to make quick deliveries or drop offs. As the victims walked away from their cars, the suspects took advantage of the running vehicles, and drove off with the victim's car. The suspects in the cases are often being dropped off from another vehicle and the crime happens in mere seconds. If you are a delivery driver, courier or are just running in for a second, please take the time to turn off your vehicle and remove the keys before you exit the car. In sharing this information, hopefully we can prevent this from happening to our friends, neighbors and those that are providing us invaluable services.
Changing gears a bit (see what I did there). The topic of theft from autos is also at the forefront right now. Across the City, we have seen a spike in the theft of catalytic converters. The Tenney Lapham and Sherman Ave Neighborhoods are two areas of the City that have been hardest hit. This is another crime that can be committed in very short order. Suspects will generally work together to target vehicles that have easy access to the catalytic converter. One suspect will generally be the lookout while the other hops under the car and quickly saws off the CAT and off they go. The most common vehicles that we are seeing targeted are 2005 - 2009 Prius, Honda SUVs and mini vans and Isuzu. Many of these are occurring in the overnight hours. Please report any suspicious behaviors that you see.
Lastly, we continue to get complaints of traffic violations in the E Washington Ave corridor, E Johnson St and the Williamson St areas. There is no doubt that speeding and reckless driving have been on the rise. This is a trend that is occurring across the country and the pandemic seems to be exacerbating the problems. Many traffic safety groups have been looking at the issue. Wile our streets have become less congested, it hasn't cut down on the speeding and reckless driving. During a recent traffic initiative officers made 29 traffic stops in an area that is posted as 25 mph. Two of those stops were vehicles that were traveling at more than 30 mph over the speed limit. One driver fled from officers and was not pursued. As such, we will continue to focus our efforts on hazardous traffic violations in areas that are crash prone. We will also continue to work with our partner in other City agencies on traffic calming and creative ways to encourage people to slow down and drive safely.
Hope you are all staying healthy and enjoying some of the beautiful weather we have been having.
Captain Kelly Donahue